Five Lighting Maintenance Practices Can Ensure Quality

  December 13, 2011

Today's tip from Building Operating Management comes from Frank Feist, a senior designer with MCLA: Keeping five points in mind can help ensure that facility maintenance practices maintain the lighting quality of a new design.

1. Don't re-lamp with lamps from different manufacturers or with different model numbers. Different color temperature lamps obviously look different, but even the same color temperature lamps from different manufacturers look different since they all use different proprietary mixes of phosphors, etc.

2. It may be cheaper to use a lower color rendering index (CRI) lamp, but it's not worth it if everyone looks like corpses. It also makes it more difficult to discern differences in colors; red especially tends to look dull and dead. In general if it has a CRI below 80, it shouldn't be used.

3. Screw-in compact fluorescent or LED lamps may fit in a fixture, but they won't provide the same quality (and sometimes even quantity) of light that the original incandescent lamp did. These fixtures are designed around a specific lamp, and reflectors can function significantly more poorly with a different one.

Very limited numbers of incandescent make it onto projects any more, and those are generally used for highly specific purposes for which fluorescent, LED or metal halide are not suited. Incandescent is less efficient, but it still has better color quality, true full range dimming, and is a point source that allows great optical control.

4. Group re-lamp if possible. It takes more effort to replace lamps as they burn out than it does to simply re-lamp all fixtures at scheduled intervals. This won't eliminate all spot re-lamping, but there will be far less of it.

5. Where wet location fixtures are used, the manufacturer may have particular instructions for re-lamping. These should be followed to avoid water ingress and fixture failure.


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